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Case report
Rhabdomyosarcoma involving maxilla mimicking gingival enlargement: A diagnostic challenge
  1. Richa Nangalia,
  2. Neha Shah,
  3. Mahmud Abdul Sheikh and
  4. Mousumi Pal
  1. Oral Pathology, Gurunanak Institute of Dental Science and Research, Kolkata, West Bengal, India
  1. Correspondence to Dr Mahmud Abdul Sheikh; drmahmudop{at}


Rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS) is a rare, rapidly growing, highly aggressive malignant neoplasm, originating from undifferentiated mesenchymal cells that retain their ability to differentiate into skeletal muscle. It mainly affects children, accounts for <1% of all adult malignancies and has varied clinical presentations. The head and neck region accounts for 35%–40% of all RMS cases, of which 10%–12% cases involve the oral cavity. This report deals with a case of RMS in a 40-year-old woman, primarily involving maxillary gingiva for which she underwent excision with subsequent recurrences. The uniqueness of this case is that it reminds us of the essential clinical dictum that ‘every growth we encounter, no matter how benign it appears clinically, should be looked upon with suspicion’. Hence, proper integration of history, clinical examination and investigation is required to reach a correct diagnosis enabling early treatment, thereby preventing functional and aesthetic loss and psychological trauma.

  • dentistry and oral medicine
  • pathology
  • oral and maxillofacial surgery
  • head and neck cancer
  • mouth
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  • Contributors RN: acquisition of data, preparing the manuscript. NS: conception and design, correction of manuscript. MAS: analysis and interpretation of data, correction of the manuscript. MP: acquisition of data, planning and designing.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Obtained.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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